After yesterday's FOMC Minutes, despite a huge dovish reversal by the Fed - one which increasingly puts its "credibility" and reputation at risk - stocks were unable to close green, or even above 2100, for one simple reason: uncertainty with the fate of Greece. Overnight there has not been much more clarity, when as previously reported Greece submitted a 6 month extension request to its master loan agreement but not to its bailout extension, a nuance lost in the annals of diplomacy. But is this the much-awaited Greek capitulation? Or will the Eurogroup reject this too? The answer may be available in a few hours after an emergency Eurogroup meeting due later today. However, as usual stocks are ready to "price in" yet another Greek conflict resolution, and after futures were lower by 7 points overnight, were up 4 points at last check: a rebound which will not correct if the latest Greek "compromise" fails to deliver.
Having signed a new five-year contract in December reported to be worth $10 million a year, Brian Williams - the mis-remembering NBC News anchor - has been suspended by the network for six months without pay this evening, according to The NY Times. NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke remarked, "by his actions, Brian has jeopardized the trust millions of Americans place in NBC News. His actions are inexcusable and this suspension is severe and appropriate."
Google Trends and Bloomberg News Counts show that interest in "Grexit" is at its highest since mid-2012 - the peak of the previous European crisis before Draghi said "whatever it takes" and Juncker said everything is awesome. However, as the following chart shows, not everyone cares about Grexit (especially when there's Kim Kardashian on TV)...
"This is going to hurt, no question," fears a landowner in Santa Barbara with a dozen oil wells. Layoffs are "kind of like a death in the family," exclaims a geophysicist in the Permian Basin. Houstonians were hoping for a hiccup, says one restauranteir, but now "they're getting more cautious." As WSJ reports, rumor is becoming reality across America as "unambiguously good" news of low oil prices turns from a trickle to a deluge of job losses and insecurity. Cutbacks aren’t yet reflected in broad data on employment, home sales or tax collections. But fallout is beginning to affect people, starting with the legions working as suppliers to the energy industry.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing.
"It's A Butchery" - 12 Killed In Terrorist Attack On French Satirical Magazine Charlie Hebdo: Live WebcastSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/07/2015 17:01 -0400
A tragedy is unfolding in Paris at the moment where armed men stormed the Paris offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday morning, killing “at least 12 people” and injuring more, said a police officer. As a reminder, it was in November 2011 when the Charlie Hebdo’s headquarters were gutted by fire, hours before a special issue of the weekly featuring the Prophet Muhammad appeared on newsstands. Since then, the weekly moved to a new location, which was guarded by police, who were also shot at Wednesday morning. The shooters opened fire inside the magazine’s offices using automatic AK-47 rifles before fleeing, said the officer, cited by the WSJ. The attackers, described as "a commando with Kalasnikov and pump action... they went in there to kill" are believed to still be at large as France is "in shock" according to its president.
Some are thinking that 2015 will be a repeat of 2014 with a few incremental changes, However, the interesting question to ask is, how has the ground shifted in 2014, if indeed it has? To our mind, the really interesting development of 2014 is that the world as a whole (with a few minor exceptions) has become quite lucid on the topic of what the United States, as a global empire, is and stands for. Another major shift we have observed is that a significant percentage of the thinking people in the US no longer trusts their national media. In case somebody out there in the media realm is tired of playing it safe and printing stuff that's only fit for wiping your Kardashian with, here are a some points for you to try to refute...
A day after the funeral of a colleague killed in an ambush last month fueled tensions between the force and the city's mayor and led to another day when thousands of policemen turned their back on New York mayor Bill de Blasio, two NYC policemen were shot and wounded on Monday night, officials said, According to Reuters, the officers, part of a plainclothes unit, were shot outside a Chinese restaurant in the Bronx district as they tracked two suspects to an armed robbery, New York Police Commissioner William Bratton told a news conference early on Tuesday. The officers were transported to St. Barnabas Hospital and were expected to survive. Both were listed in stable condition: one, aged 30, was shot in the arm and lower back. The second man, aged 38, had chest and arm wounds. A massive manhunt is taking place for the suspects, described as 25- to 30-year-old Hispanic males, who are still at large. The organization COP SHOT (Citizens Outraged at Police Being Shot) is offering a $10,000 cash reward for information leading to their arrest and conviction.
Blackfield Capital CJSC was one of Moscow’s hottest hedge funds, hosting glitzy parties and embarking on ambitious plans to expand to the U.S. The firm’s founder in 2013 even rented a Manhattan apartment for a record-setting price, and bought a $300,000 sports car; but now, as WSJ reports, 29-year-old Kim Karapetyan "just disappeared" leaving the staff of 50 stunned and making off with some $20 million in investor cash...
We thought yesterday's absurd story of former hedge fund manager James Crombie, founder of Paron Capital Management, who was arrested after found squatting in a million dollar Maryland house, would be as strange as it gets for hedge fund stories this weekend. We were wrong: moments ago the WSJ reported that Thomas Gilbert, founder of the $200 million Wainscott hedge fund, whose success Gilbert said previously had come from investing in biotech funds, was found dead with a single bullet to the head in his Manhattan apartment this afternoon, allegedly shot by none other than his 30-year-old son.
With Western economic sanctions against Russia, Iran, and Cuba in the news, Ken Rogoff thought it was a good time to take stock of the debate on just how well such measures work. The short answer is that economic sanctions usually have only modest effects at best. In a world where nuclear proliferation has rendered global conventional war unthinkable, economic sanctions and sabotage are likely to play a large role in twenty-first-century geopolitics. Rather than preventing conflict, Pericles’s sanctions in ancient Greece ultimately helped to trigger the Peloponnesian War. One can only hope that in this century, wiser heads will prevail, and that economic sanctions lead to bargaining, not violence.
It appears that when North Korea's Kim Jong-un isn't personally hacking Sony Pictures' 40-some firewalls, he is busy flying planes.
The sixth anniversary of Zero Hedge is just around the corner, and so, for the sixth year in a row we continue our tradition of summarizing what you, our readers, found to be the most relevant, exciting, and actionable news of the year, determined by the number of page views. Those eager for a brief stroll down memory lane of prior years can do so at their leisure, by going back in time to our top articles of 2009,2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. For everyone else, without further ado, these are the articles that readers found to be the most popular posts of the past 365 days.
Hot on the heels of his Xmas Poem, 50-year NYSE veteran Art Cashin, UBS Director of Floor Operations, has unveiled his New Year's Poem summarizing the year behind and looking at the year ahead. From ISIS to The Ice Bucket Challenge and from Joan Rivers' death to Kim Jung Un's life, Cashin covers it all...